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Flanked by his parents, Calvin and Brigitte, Doron Lamb looked at the packed arena, took a deep breath and announced for a nationally televised audience his intentions.
“I will be a Kentucky Wildcat,” the Oak Hill Academy (Va.) star and Laurelton native said.
The decision, in the second half of the Jordan Brand All-American game at Madison Square Garden Saturday, didn’t come as much of a surprise. It was rumored during the week after Lamb announced his final five college choices were Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut and Kansas.
He joins Pine Crest (Fla.) star Brandon Knight, the No. 1 player in the class of 2010, according to scout.com, in an all-freshman backcourt for Coach John Calipari. In his first year in Lexington, Ky., Calipari went to the Elite Eight with freshmen guards John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, who have declared for the NBA Draft.
“It’s a dream come true. He knows what to do with guards,” Lamb said of Calipari. He later added: “We’re going to do the same thing they’re doing. We’re going to do what we do and just win next year.”
Talent evaluator Tom Konchalski considers Calipari’s new backcourt “terrific.” He is high on Lamb, known for his pull-up jump shot and quick first step.
“He’s an assassin,” Konchalski said. “A master of quiet domination.”
Lamb wasn’t the only prospect to pick a school. Highly touted point guard Josh Selby of Lake Clifton (Md.) committed to Kansas in the first half. As for the all-American game, the West topped the East 129-125. North Carolina recruit Harrison Barnes had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the West, while Duke’s Kyrie Irving had 22 points for the East. Lamb scored 11 points on four-of-nine shooting from the field.
New St. John’s Coach Steve Lavin made a late run at Lamb, reaching out to his family, but his father, Calvin, said it was “too late” in the process. Lamb said Assistant Coaches Orlando Antigua and Rod Strickland were instrumental in his recruitment. The two are both city products and Strickland is an Oak Hill alum.
“They talked to me, told me how I’m going to fit in,” he said. “I fell in love with what they were saying and I fell in love with [the school] during my visit.”
Lamb led Oak Hill to a 29-4 record, seventh in USA Today’s national rankings. Arguably his finest moment for the powerhouse came in an 84-81 loss to St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) in the prestigious Primetime Shootout. He scored 49 points that night, second all-time in the tournament right behind LeBron James’ 52 Feb. 9, 2003.
“It seemed like he scored every time down the floor for us,” Oak Hill Coach Steve Smith said then.
A McDonald’s All-American, the 6-foot-4 Lamb developed into a national prospect at Oak Hill after two years at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn. He is the third-highest rated shooting guard in the class of 2010 by scout.com and 30th prospect overall, but he also got ready for college.
“He matured the past two years,” his mother, Brigitte, said. “He can wash his own clothes now.”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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